New Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Official Trailer 2 (Bay and Liebesman's)

     We get another new trailer for the new TMNT film.  It's pretty much the last trailer with a few extra close-up shots of the Turtles faces and a couple voices.  Not much extra, but it's still something, right?

     Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles hits theaters August 8th, 2014.

The Great Bob Hoskins has Died at 71

     After retiring from acting two years ago when diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, Bob Hoskins has died of Pneumonia.

     He was a tremendous character actor, with such versatility he could play villainy and charm with equal measure.  Many of my generation will remember him from films such as Who Framed Roger Rabbit or Hook, but I prefer to recall his roles in Shattered, The Long Good Friday, and Heart Condition.  All three of them are wonderful movies.  I might even go and find a copy of Super Mario Bros the movie to re-watch in honor of this fine actor.  It might not be the best movie, but it's still fun.  And it has John Leguizamo, which is always a plus.

     Sadly, he'll also be the only way I could picture the character of Bayaz (The First of the Magi) from Joe Abercrombie's book The Blade Itself.

     He will be missed.


Atari E.T. Game Cartridge Excavation Meme 2: It's Older Than We Thought

     Here's another thing I thought of for the digging up of the old E.T. video game from the landfills.  Even back in those days they were trying to decide what to do with them.

     Rumor has it that E.T. is responsible for the Big Bang.  He may have also killed the dinosaurs, sank Atlantis, and stole a little kid's Halloween candy.  He's a monster!


Batman Arkham Origins: Cold, Cold Heart: Review

     When it comes to Batman, he has a vast array of villains in his rogues gallery, but none of them quite as sympathetic as Mr. Fries.  In this Arkham Origins DLC we are given a retelling of the Batman: The Animated Series' origin story of Victor Fries, the man who would become Mr. Freeze, from the absolutely outstanding episode Heart of Ice.  Paul Dini wrote the episode and made one of the gimmicky bad guys into someone we could relate to- someone Bruce Wayne can relate to.  He's lashing out at the person responsible for almost killing his wife.

     The story goes on here unchanged, which is a pleasure because Dini did a fantastic job.  It starts out with Bruce Wayne in Wayne Manor (finally, we get to explore parts of it) and Freeze appears to abduct Humanitarian of the Year award winner Ferris Boyle.  Along the way to retrieving your Batsuit you must fight your way through the Manor, and enter the Batcave, then for some reason fight your way back through the Manor.  Once that's done a chunk of Gotham is opened for play- not the whole city.
     Vicky Vale makes an appearance and the Penguin is up to his arms dealing again.  For collectibles there are a slew of Anarchy tags to find and a side mission with Anarchy's men wreaking pathetic havoc around the few still explorable portions of Gotham.  There's also another side mission to thaw out frozen victims with the new EX Suit's thermal gloves, which replace the shock gauntlets.

     With the new gauntlets we eventually get a couple other substituted weapons and costume.  We now get the conveniently timed EX Suit and thermal batarangs.  Oddly enough these things don't become available until roughly halfway through the DLC.  The glue grenades are now gone and are not replaced with Arkham City's Cryogrenades, which is unfortunate for the stealthy players.  They do address why they are gone in the dialogue which is a nice little touch.

     Combat is the same old stuff- the same combat and predator challenges in place after place.  As for the Freeze boss battle itself, it follows in the same vein as Arkham City.  Freeze can't be harmed the same way twice.  He feels a bit more challenging this time, and the level itself has a larger vertical option for fighting.  It might seem to be another copied thing in the game, but it's done well enough here.

     There isn't anything new in Cold, Cold Heart but I believe it's a good addition.  The main game had plenty of stuff to do, but suffered some very large problems, ones that have not been fixed for this DLC either.  Honestly, Origins wasn't a great game, but it wasn't completely awful either.  Initiation was merely a series of challenges, but Cold, Cold Heart offers more actual gameplay and story.  It isn't super long but that can be seen as a good thing as well.  It felt like playing an episode of a show.  It actually makes me wonder why they didn't just make a handful of these instead of Origins.  WB Games MontrĂ©al has made something sleek, trim, and worth our time with this DLC expansion.

     Side notes: I found that if you die or save and quit a certain parts, the mission saves, but you must go back to redo a portion without it telling you to.  Such as ***SPOILER*** once you beat up the Penguin Thug to get the codes to enter GothCorp. if you enter then save and quit when you restart you'll have to go back and re-interrogate the Penguin Thug again for the codes.  
     I also found that if you defeat the thug in the My Alibi bar too quickly you cannot interrogate him and need to save, quit, and restart to do it over again.  Sure, it's small stuff, but it gets really irritating to have to redo things like that repeatedly.

Atari E.T. Game Cartridges Finally Excavated From Landfill (Indiana Jones Meme)

     Here's what I generally think of the recent unearthing of the mass grave of Atari E.T. Games in New Mexico.


"Death of Wolverine" Slated to Occur on Sept. 24th, 2014

     Marvel comics announced the upcoming death of Wolverine.  It'll come as a result of losing his life-lengthening healing factor being gone.  This is unsurprising to me, as they've killed off plenty of other major Marvel characters only to bring them back, such as Spider-Man, Captain America, Colossus, and even Charles Xavier- only to bring them back some time later.

     Even if Marvel doesn't bring him back, how many Wolverine analogs/clones are out there?  Sabretooth, Wild Child, X-23, Daken, and there is probably a long-forgotten Weapon X facility with an entire batch of clones in test tube tanks just waiting to be revived from stasis.

     If this is handled well, it could be a great story.  Possibly as good as some of the old Wolverine canon like Barry Windsor-Smith's Weapon X or Frank Miller's story of Wolvie in Japan.  So after a lifetime of killing it finally comes back to him.

    Will this be the end for good?

     It'll be tough for Marvel to truly let this guy go- he's been a Marvel staple character for decades.

     Death of Wolverine 1- "3 Months to Die" will be written by Charles Soule with art by Steve McNiven  will be available on September 3.

     Source [ Entertainment Weekly ]

BBC Sherlock May get a "One-off Special" Episode

     According to a Cultbox article, Martin Freeman mentioned to Alan Carr on an episode of Chatty Man that the next episode of Sherlock could be a "one-off" while we wait for season 4.
     “Mark Gatiss may beat me up, but there is an idea for this one-off special that’s such a good idea, and as I was listening to it I thought ‘we’ve just got to do this’. And I don’t know when we are going to be able to do it, unfortunately. It’s a fantastic, really mouth-watering idea. But I really don’t know when we are going to get to do it.” 
     Way to dangle a carrot Mr. Freeman in front of us devoted watchers.  It would be nice as both Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch have been quite busy lately, as have the shows creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss.  Due to all the scheduling conflicts season 4 cannot start shooting this fall as planned and as a result of the delay the show will likely air sometime in 2016.

     It would be nice to have a shorter installment of Sherlock while we wait for the next season.


Batman: Arkham Origins: Cold, Cold Heart Launch Trailer

     Today the Batman Arkham Origins single-player capmaign add-on DLC Cold, Cold Heart drops.  It is the origin tale of my favorite bat-villain Mr. Freeze.  Taking place shortly after the Christmas story of the Origins main game and it opens up some new areas such as the previously unreachable Wayne Manor.

     The Cold, Cold Heart story add-on introduces new locations including Wayne Manor and GothCorp, taking players on an ice-cold journey as Victor Fries encounters Batman for the first time. Players will have access to all new gadgets including Thermocharged Batarangs and Thermal Gloves. Batman is also equipped with his powerful Extreme Environment (XE) suit to take down Mr. Freeze and his Cryo-thugs in hours of new story content.

     Cold, Cold Heart is available for purchase on the PSN, Xbox Live, and Steam for $9.99, or free for those that purchased the Arkham Origins Season Pass.

Monument Valley: Possibly Coming to PS Vita

     With the success of Ustwo Games' Escher-like puzzle game Monument Valley, the company has been thinking of adding extra levels, and thinking about bringing it to other systems, such as Android markets (Already listed as coming soon), and what I'm rather excited and intrigued to play it on, the Playstation Vita.

     When it comes to expanding the game with more of its impossibly architectured levels, it's good to see they don't want to harm the completed story according to designer Neil McFarland:
     “The only thing is we presented a complete story in the game, which we don’t want to mess with, so what we don’t really know yet is how we’ll present new levels within that narrative. We don’t want to break it! But there are things we want to explore without destroying that experience.”
And for the part that interested me the most, the potential for a future PS Vita release:
     “We’re looking at getting it on the PS Vita, and a lot of people ask about a PC version, but we’re portrait and touchscreen, so it’s not easy. We could do it, but it would be a bit crap!” he says. 

Source [ The Guardian

Game of Thrones: Jaime Lannister's Gold Hand: Meme: Masters of the Universe Jitsu

     This isn't the greatest meme I've thought of, but I knew I recognized that hand from somewhere!  Back in the 80's Masters of the Universe had a character called Jitsu with a fancy gold hand that looks vaguely familiar to a now famous Jaime Lannister's from Game of Thrones...


Metal Gear: Ground Zeroes Review

     In a strange change of pace, the usually drawn out story-telling of Hideo Kojima's Metal Gear series has come through with something of a wonder- a moving piece that doesn't take 50 hours to experience, and I am quite thankful for it.  Finally a restrained narrative in the series.

     In fact this feels a lot like the Tanker Mission from Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty.  A small opening sequence to give us a taste of the grand game to come.  A gaming appetizer to whet the palette.  My only complaint about the duration is that when the end of it came, I was unsure if I had truly finished it.  The end is a bit vague and just stops, with no real indication of having been completed when the credits started to roll.  (Although the post credits sequence does clear the path for next part.)

     With such brevity, many fans have asked if the game is worth the price to play.  Personally, I would say...  maybe.  This is definitely not justifiable to all players.  It has the feel of a really long demo- limited to a single location, only the most meager of missions, and the sparsest of plots possible.  The main mission and single location of a Guantanamo-like islet that only took me about 3 hours to finish.  To make matters a little worse, I play very slowly, very, VERY methodically during first playthroughs of games.

     When it comes to the actual play- it is a tremendously well handled game.  The controls are outstanding and the core mechanics from the previous games have been given an update. There no longer a camouflage index, improved CQC handling, and an ability to "tag" enemies for tracking are all improvements.  I am not a huge fan of the new bullet-time "Reflex" reaction to enemies spotting you, but I might get used to it.  The new and simple alert system is nice.  It's just a small circular indicator that gets fuzzier as the enemies lose interest is a very nice touch.
     There are still some small irritations though.  The common Snake-seizing-when-touching-things-while-sneaking rears its ugly head again, and the only thing that really bothers me still is the movement while laying down.  Something about it is impossibly ridiculous to control.

     Honestly though, it was nice to play something in one sitting.  The detention facility island is quite well made, and gave me 6 small "Extra Ops" challenge missions to complete, none of which took long.  The Playstation version gave me a mission (Deja Vu) to recreate a slew of "flashbacks" (flash-forwards?) to the original Metal Gear Solid missions, including an instruction book reference that was damn hilarious if you played it.  Each completed mission unlocks various items for you as you play, such as new challenges, more starting weapons, and a couple skins (I got the MGS Solid Snake skin!).

     Kojima stated that there would be unlimited replayability to this prologue to The Phantom Pain.  I can't say I fully buy that, but it has offered me enough entertainment for the price in the handful of replays I've done.  In one of the replays I had a grand time "securing the island" to make it safe for the prisoners I was supposed to be rescuing.  In another I made it my goal to kill everyone on the island.  Not infinitely replayable by any means, but there's certainly a lot of fun to be had on this complex little island.

     In the end, we've been given a very tiny, but densely packed sandbox to explore and play in while we wait for the main feast.  If this is the tip of The Phantom Pain's iceberg, it might be quite the impressive and substantial game we'll be getting soon.


But What About Second Winter Part 2: Elevenses.

     Once again we Minnesotans are subjected to ridiculous weather.  We went from summer, to fall, then to winter, and spring, then winter, then spring, winter, and spring, and now we are somehow back in winter again with all the vast amount of snow Mother Nature feels like burying us in.

     Well, I made the second winter meme before it was cool, and now have made a follow up to go with the quote I was using in the first one- this time it's about Elevenses, which naturally comes after second breakfast.

     I have to say, after returning to winter once more, I am really getting sick of having to shovel my way out of the house.

X-Men: Days of Future Past: Final Trailer

     With the last trailer for the film now out- it looks better than ever.  I can't say I don't have doubts about it, but it definitely looks better than 90% of the other X-Men franchise films.  

     Of course most of my doubts arise from the massive cast they are cramming into the film.  However, I am fairly certain most of the beginning of the film will just be a slaughter-fest with the X-Men's go-to guy Wolverine going back to change things- so my worries might not be too bad.  The large cast may just be for an opening spectacle of action pieces. 

     Days of Future Past arrives in theaters May 23th.


Child of Light: Lemuria Trailer

     Ubisoft Montreal seems to have generated quite a game here.  An RPG inspired by fairy tales and taking place in Lemuria.  The visuals alone look to be worth the time to play it.

     Child of Light will be available on April 30th for PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U, and PC.

     For more information check out [ Child of Light ]


Bay & Liebesman's TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES "Brothers" TV Spot

     Well, with the new offical new TV spot titled "Brothers" for the upcoming and ever-controversial Bay and Liebesman Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, we get just a little more previously unseen footage.  Nothing too revealing yet, but some things can be much better than no things.

     I like the quick shot of Splinter in there, with what looked to be a glimpse of Shredder in the background, and it sounds like they've already put in Tony Shalhoub's voice-over for him as well.  From the back Splinter looks kind of reminiscent of Iron Man 3's Mandarin.  This still looks a bit questionable, but not as bad as I was anticipating.

     For more of my Turtles posts [ TMNT ]

Gearbox PAX East: Borderlands The Pre-Sequel and Release Date (September 30th)

     Alas I was not able to go to PAX East this year, well, any year really, so I watched the Live Stream of Gearbox's panel.  There honestly wasn't a whole lot of information.  I'm not even kidding, I'm actually perfectly ok not going as nothing new was talked about.

     The best part was Handsome Jack reading Ozymadias (by Percy Bysshe Shelley) who thinks it's ridiculous and starts changing it.  A nice touch.
     With all the nothing we got I'll still be preordering the upcoming Tales From the Borderlands and The Pre-Sequel.

     I also came across the release date on an IGN mobile site:  It's set for September 30th.
          (Listed at the bottom of the article in tiny print)


The Last Guardian: Release Date News: Soon...

     Ever since Team Ico's The Last Guardian was announced in 2009 at the E3 Expo, fans have been kept in the dark about this game.  Rumors abound causing speculation that will it be ported to PS4, or might be officially cancelled.
     Fumito Ueda and Sony have both stated many times that it is "absolutely" still coming, leaving us fans anticipating this game forever without news or pictures.  Any news is sort of good news, even if it would be that it got cancelled- at least we'd know.

     Well, I think that Sony will play their "Re-introduction" card at this year's E3 show.  Famitsu Weekly claims that Sony might be ready to release information "soon."  If I recall correctly they announced upcoming news for The Last Guardian before and failed to deliver anything.  So hopefully we get something, anything really- screens, a new trailer, anything!- but until Sony officially announces something I'll be keeping my hopes low.  The only things we have really gotten info about is the fact it's still in active development and is awaiting the right time to be reintroduced.

     We can only guess at what has become of, or changed with, Team Ico's Last Guardian.  If they can pull off even a part of the magic they had with Ico or Shadow of the Colossus they'll have something great.

     Source [ Famitsu via GameRant ]


Below: Come in From the Storm Trailer: Coming to Steam

     I've been following this game because it looks very interesting, but I have been lamenting the fact it was only supposed to come to Xbox One as an exclusive, well...
     ...now we'll be able play it on Steam.

     Capybara Games have so far kept me hooked from Sword and Sorcery and the upcoming Super Time Force looks absolutely brilliant.  By the looks of it, this'll be another great game.

Come in from the Storm.

Enter the depths of BELOW.





Batman: Arkham Origins: Cold, Cold Heart (First Mr. Freeze Pics)

     DC All Access's new episode has Arkham Origins' Creative Director Eric Holmes and Game Director Benoit Richer discuss the upcoming DLC Cold, Cold Heart.  There's a bunch of new footage, the new EX Suit, and some heat based abilities to add to the Bat-Arsenal.

     During the discussion, we find out that Mr. Freeze will be seeking the aid of another well known villain as Freeze doesn't have a bunch of goons following him around.  I like the clunkier suit he's wearing and the positively monstrous Rob Liefeld-esque freeze ray/gun he's wielding.  Great way to work in the retro bubble helmet as well.

     Cold, Cold Heart is set a week after Arkham Origins' Christmas time frame and will be released on April 22 for PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.

Borderlands The Pre-Sequel is Real and Slated for Late 2014!!!

     For the last couple of days I've read and blogged about the rumored Borderlands pre-sequel, a game that was to take place between the first and second game.  Not only is it real, but it also will be an in between game in length along with a ton of new stuff.  Gearbox Software and 2K Australia are making it and quite soon.

     It will definitely take place on the moon of Pandora where Pre-villain Jack needs help to uncrash the Hyperion space station.  In Borderlands 2 we heard Handsome Jack telling everyone how he was the hero of the story, and this will be why he thinks that is true.
     With the Moon base location we'll be getting a bunch of game-changing mechanics involving oxygen.  The oxygen implementation will not only for breathing, but it'll allow for much more in the way of mobility options and even offensive capabilities such as double-jumping, ground pound melee-like attacks/stuns, and air boosts that act like small flight bursts.  This will include a new resource slot that works like a grande mod for 02 (or Oz Pack), and alters the effects of the pack you are using.

     The weapons variety in loot will be increased by the addition of laser weapons and cryo guns.  More loot is always good.

     As for the playable characters, all of which are KNOWN by fans...

- Athena, the Gladiator: Uses her Kinetic Aspis, which is a shield that can absorb incoming damage, then convert it back into energy to use against enemies. Athena made her debut in The Secret Armory of General Knoxx DLC for the first Borderlands game.   
- Wilhelm, the Enforcer: Wilhelm was previously seen in Borderlands 2 as one of the first deadly bosses in the game. 
- Nisha, the Lawbringer: The sheriff of Lynchwood from Borderlands 2, Nisha will be dealing out her own brand of justice, which we'll discuss further in the coming months. 
...and last, but not least...
- Claptrap, the Fragtrap: Wait - Claptrap? The goofy robot companion from Borderlands 2, now playable for the first time? Fragtrap is his character class? Well, you can play him too!

     The Borderlands Pre-Sequel will be released later this year on PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.  (No next gen systems sadly)

     Source [ 2K Blog


A Borderlands 2 Prequel in the Works? (A Pre-Sequel)

     If the rumors are true, CEO Randy Pitchford of Gearbox said that while they aren't currently working on a Borderlands 3, 2K Australia was working on a pre-sequel.  A game to take place in the 5 years between parts 1 and 2.

     This game would be set on both the moon of Pandora, Elpis, and on the Hyperion moonbase that every Borderlands 2 player has dreamed of visiting.  It would be during a time when Jack was simply another Hyperion lackey named John, and the 4 playable characters that sound a little familiar would be his lieutenants:
     1) Former Lance Assassin, the Mercenary Athena the Gladiator (from General Knoxx's DLC).
     2) Wilhelm the Enforcer, whether before he became part loader we can only guess.
     3) Nisha the Lawbringer, sounds a little like the Sheriff of Lynchwood (Jack's Girlfriend).
     4) Fragtrap- a militiarised Claptrap.

     Other rumors include 2 new weapon types, lasers and cryo guns.  There's also a possibility the game will have low gravity mechanics to coincide with jetpacks, and an Oxygen system for continued breathing that may also be exploited for dispatching enemies as well.

     So far, there has been no official confirmation, and I can't be too sure this isn't an elaborate and delayed gag of some sort- but it's also rumored to be set for a late 2014 release on PS3, Xbox 360, and PC- which means no next gen consoles. (I think that would be a tellling fact that it may have been in production for some time if it isn't slated for release on the PS4 or Xbox One.)
     Along with Telltale's Tales From the Borderlands, and the final Headhunter Pack/DLC Sir Hammerlock vs The Son of Crawmerax, this would be another nice addition to sate my Borderlands fandom until they make a Borderlands 3 in like 5 years.
     I certainly hope this is true and we finally get to visit the Moonbase.

     Source [ GamePointsNow ]


Goonies 2 (sequel) Is Happening!

     Firstly, the image I screencapped is one of my favorite monologues of all time.  Short and sweet.  It's from the wishing well scene, when they think they've found the treasure, but realize this isn't really what they were looking for.  They've found the countless forgotten dreams at the bottom of a well and know that there is definitely something more to be sought, and it's not money or fame.  Mouth (Cory Feldman) says something that, to me, is extremely telling of the film, a message to not just follow your dreams, but to take hold of it- and I hope they remember this for the sequel:

     "This one.  This one right here.  This was my dream, my wish, but it didn't come true.  So, I'm taking it back, I'm taking them all back."
     To the news- Richard Donner has told TMZ that he's making a Goonies sequel.  Hot on the heels of the news of another remake of one of my favorite childhood films getting a remake- Explorers.  Honestly, this might be great.  Especially if Donner can get all the original members together, at least the remaining cast, as both Anne Ramsey (Ma Fratelli) and John Matuszak (Sloth) passed away in 1989.
     I know some of the originals became quite big in the last few years, such as Sean Astin and Josh Brolin, but many of the others could join on.  I wonder if producer Steven Spielberg or writer Chris Columbus will come back on board this pirate ship...

     All in all, I don't really know what to think here.  Hopefully they handle it with all the respect it deserves, as Goonies was a sign of all the hope of our generation from the 80's.  A film to remind us that by working together we can change things.

     Source [ TMZ ]


Monument Valley Release Trailer by Ustwo Games

     It isn't often I lament my choice to never own iProducts, but the game Monument Valley is making me cry out for one.  So I'll be looking for a friend's iPad to swipe for a few days to purchase and play through this interesting M.C. Escher-esque landscape.

     Monument Valley's optical illusionary landscape will be traverse-able April 3rd.


TMNT: Out of the Shadows PS3 News- Release Date!!! April 15th

     After numerous delays and pretty much no updates (since Oct 4th last year) for the PS3 version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows - it gets an official news update:

     This was posted a mere 2 hours ago on their Official Facebook Page:
Update for our PlayStation community,
Thank you for your enthusiasm and your patience these last many months. The delay in game was very disappointing news for all of us, but it was to polish the PSN game to the highest of levels. With that being said, we have some great news! The day has come for your questions to be answered: TMNT: Out of the Shadows will be available April 15th for download!
Thank you for your loyalty and continued support!
     We will finally get to play this game.  Unless this is some horribly cruel April Fool's Day joke, I am quite excited to give this game a go.

     UPDATE: They added this post for clarification:
We promise, this is not an April Fool's Joke. And definitely look out for PlayStation Plus perks!
     I'm very curious now and wonder what the PS Plus Perks might be???

     For more of my Turtles posts [ TMNT